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A Brief Guide to J. R. R. Tolkien (Brief Histories)

A Brief Guide to J. R. R. Tolkien (Brief Histories) [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Cawthorne
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description


On "The Annotated Hobbit" "Not only fascinating, but useful. It makes of The Hobbit a kind of Tolkien handbook."--"The Washington Post""Hobbit fans will treasure it."--"The Denver Post"

Book Description

A highly readable companion to the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings saga

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 448 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (18 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070TRCHS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,864 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of some eighty books - and a major contributor to at least twenty more. He lives in a flat girlfriends have described as a book-writing factory in Bloomsbury, London's literary area, and writes in the great British Library, which is supposed to be one of the best pick-up joints in London. However, his reputation is such that people will tell you he is more often seen drinking in Soho's famous bohemian watering hole, the French pub - still known to some denizens as the Yorkminster - with a beautiful young woman on his arm.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Started well but became repetitive 25 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first chapters and Nigel Cawthorne's writing style but the book flips about chronologically so seems repetitive. Overall I am glad I read the book as prior to this I knew nothing about the author.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bluffers Guide to Tolkien 19 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My first thought was that this was released to cash in on the Hobbit movie. But as I read the potted biography in the first few chapters I decided that this was unfair - it's insightful and well written.

But then - oh dear - the author decides to do a clunky précis of The Hobbit. Really, why bother? If you have read the book itself or even just seen the movie, you know all this stuff. You have already read it in Tolkien's far more elegant prose. You have seen Rivendell in Peter Jackson's stunning vision. And if you have just been to see the Hobbit movie, you probably don't want a spoiler for parts 2 and 3.

Oh dear oh dear! Because the next chapter is a clunky précis of The Lord of the Rings. Skipping over this we reach (aargh!) a clunky précis of The Silmarillion.

Nil Desperandum! About halfway through this chapter the author stops telling us stuff we can read in the books and starts talking about how the posthumous stories came to be published. Private Eye greeted publication of `The Sellamillion!' with some cynicism, and certainly Allen & Unwin and Christopher Tolkien have done well out of editing his father's papers. But if you want to cash in, spending 30 years editing is not the quickest or easiest way to do it. And if the author of this book was trying to cash in, he wouldn't have filled a quarter of the book with index and bibliography.

Jack Whittaker is a database administrator specialising in SQL Server technologies and author of the DBAtasks Blog
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